PHL185 - Big Ideas in Philosophy

Outline information
Semester
Schools offering this subject
Last revision date Nov 11, 2019 12:30:01 AM
Last review date Nov 11, 2019 12:30:01 AM

Subject Title
Big Ideas in Philosophy

Subject Description
In this course we will examine the nature of philosophical reasoning developed by selected thinkers and introduce the paradigmatic concepts used by philosophers from different time periods. Drawing from diverse areas of philosophical inquiry, students will learn to strengthen their reading skills, interpretation skills, and comprehension skills through dealing with texts which are unfamiliar in content and concern. Students will be introduced to a wide ranging set of readings drawn from primary sources, covering some of the most influential texts of the ancient, medieval and modern periods. The readings will be presented in the context of specific questions which philosophers attempt to answer. The questions are set to provide a context-specific direction for student inquiry. We will cover areas such as Epistemology, Ontology, Metaphysics, Moral and Political philosophy, philosophy of religion and social justice.

Credit Status
This is a required course for the General Arts Certificate Program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:


  • Deconstruct and critically examine philosophical writings.
  • Learn to identify and articulate philosophical questions and how they ae framed.
  • Learn the major philosophical concepts and ideas recurring in philosophical thought.
  • Hone their ability to reason and argue effectively, by practicing constructive interpretation of arguments found in those sources.
  • Develop skills of oral expression and argument through class discussion.
  • Develop critical writing skills through written assignments.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Execute mathematical operations accurately.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: http://www.senecacollege.ca/about/policies/academic-integrity-policy.html Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website http://open2.senecac.on.ca/sites/academic-integrity/for-students to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

Discrimination/Harassment
All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.